Here on the frontier, There are falling leaves, Although my neighbors are all barbarions…And you? You are a thousand miles away. There are always two cups on my table.

Archive for October, 2010

In The Morning My House Looks Like The Bar Scene From Star Wars. (Recipe For Breakfast Bars)

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It’s 3 a.m.

I hear the front door open and close.

Work boots pass over head.

Then a chair scrapes the floor.

Bart‘s home.

He stocking foots it to the laundry room where he strips off his oily work clothes.

I hear the shower go on….off.

He heads to bed for a few brief hours of sleep,  with the tv on.

I slip back into a semi-sleep until Hoo wakes at 6.

I hear Hoo’s bottle hit the floor around 6:30.

The signal he is up and ready for company.

This morning the kitchen looks like the bar scene from “Star Wars”.

It’s a busy day in the biofuel business.

Everyone is on deck.

The center of the constellation is the bossman.

My husband.

The most interesting, constantly evolving  person I know.

He drinks a coffee and nurses a morning headache but always keeps an upbeat attitude.

He sits in the dining room and reads the Wall Street Journal.

Bart rolls out of bed bare-chested in pajama pants and heads for the coffee.

He’s eats a big breakfast.

Eggs and steak or 3 grill cheeses.

Jonesy  knocks at the door ever polite, our fix it man, only 22 like Bart.

All smiles,

happy to make it for breakfast.

He eats whatever I put in front of him.

Genady, the Russian worker is smoking outside.

He never comes in the house.

I’ve stopped trying to get him to come in and instead let Bart take food out to him.

I wave and say “Morning” to him but all he says with his big smile is,

“Nice day,nice day”.

10 years in America and still no speakee English, yeah right!

Edward Norton‘s diatribe from “25th Hour” passes through my head when I see Genady and I wonder if he’s done time and that’s why he won’t come inside.

The last of the motley crew is Aldy, young and shy, and always stinking of trap grease.

I question Bart,

“Are you pouring oil over his head? How is he getting so filthy?”

“Aldy go change your clothes and take a shower man!”

He does and comes back with his thick hair slicked back.

Much better.

We are cornering the market on Tide and Oxyclean.

So another day begins as they all pile out to the trucks.

Genady and Bart lingering over coffee and a cigarette by their truck.

Waving to Hoo who stands by the screen door waving and calling to them.

I pick him up.

Come on big boy.

Time to get dressed.

These breakfast bars although not healthy enough to replace a well-balanced breakfast are good enough in a pinch or for those who won’t eat breakfast.

They make a great mid-morning snack too.

As you adjust the recipe to suit your own tastes just be aware that the recipe does not do well with flax or flax-seed or with drier cereals like chex.

Have a great week WP kids.

Be safe out there.

If you see an oil truck on the B’more streets be kind to them.

They are my boys!

Breakfast Bars

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2 cups brown sugar  

1 cup peanut butter

1 cup butter

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

2 eggs

2 and 1/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 and 1/2 cup rolled oats

1 and 1/2 cup raisins

1 cup chocolate chips

6 cups Honey Nut Cheerios

1.Preheat oven to 375 F

2. In a large bowl mix the sugar, peanut butter, water, vanilla, and eggs.

Combine the flour, baking soda and salt.

Mix into the batter.

Mix in oats, raisins, chocolate chips.

Bars unbaked by the 1/2 to 3/4 cupfuls on the bake sheet

Carefully stir in the cereal.

Drop 1/2 cupfuls of batter onto ungreased cookie sheet leaving space between bars.

3. Bake for 12-14 minutes until bars are browned at edges.

Let cool completely on cookie sheet before moving to storage bags.

Terrific Breakfast Bars with Coffee

This is gmom, Cujo and family,

Peace out.

 

Cujo not allowed in the kitchen with so many people underfoot

4 Ingredients! New York Times Artisan Bread Recipe. AWESOME!!!!

So here is how I found this recipe.

I have been teaching massage to a group of women in my community for several

months.

We hold the class in one of their homes early every Monday morning.

Every time we come in there is an awesome smell of herbs and bread.

The kind of scent most of us only imagine our homes could smell like.

Today I finally asked what that incredible smell was.

Artisan Bread! She said.

It takes 10 minutes to mix up.

She said every day she mixes up a loaf in the morning and bakes the dough

from the previous day.

Yes you read that right!

It sits and rises for 24 hours!

That is what gives this bread it’s amazing chewy texture.

I especially love this recipe because there is no kneading!

Anyone following my blog knows I had hand surgery a few weeks ago and I am still

resting my hand when I am not working.

A no-knead bread recipe??? Super dee-duper!

Cujo, Hoo and I mixed up a double recipe for the family and are happy to share the

results with you.

Next cold wintry day do try this recipe and let me know what you think!

Artisan Bread
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Ingredients: (for one loaf)

1. 3 cups of flour

2. 2 teaspoons of salt

3. 2 teaspoons of dry yeast

4. 1 and 2/3 cups of warm water (110 F)

Can you believe it 4 ingredients??????

Optional:

1. 1 teaspoon sage

2. 1 teaspoon thyme

3. 1 teaspoon rosemary

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.

The dough will be “shaggy” and cake like.

It does not come together like other bread doughs.

Don’t worry.

This is correct for this recipe.

Once the ingredients are mixed cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a dish towel and

set aside.

Leave dough to rise 24-30 hours or more...

you will leave it to rise for 24 – 30 hours.

This recipe is very forgiving.

So if you cut the time shorter by a couple of hours or let it go a bit longer it won’t make

any difference in the finished product.

Now go to work.

Watch a movie,

or play with your kids and dog.

playing with Hoo

Okay…

So it’s about 22 hours later…

8 a.m….

Hoo is up and eating a piece of whole wheat toast with cream cheese.

Cujo is out chasing squirrels in the rain.

I am drinking my coffee and noshing on chocolate-caramel popcorn I made last night

when a fit of chocolate craving hit me.

The bread dough is ready for the next step.

2 hours before baking uncover your dough.

It will look all bubbly and soft.

href=”https://gmomj.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/artisan-bread-0211.jpg”>[/caption]

Stir it for a minute with a large spoon.

stir risen dough with 1/2 cup of flour pulling dough away from sides of bowl.

Now add a generous sprinkling (maybe 1/2 cup) of flour over the top of the dough and

with your spoon pull the dough away from the sides of the bowl so it forms a loose ball.

Don’t worry it won’t hold its shape.

This is just to get the second rising going.

caption id=”attachment_1110″ align=”aligncenter” width=”500″ caption=”Dough ready for second rising”][/caption]

Now cover the dough with the plastic wrap and dish towel.

Leave it to rise for 2 hours.

Hoo and I are going to watch one of those placid morning shows and get dressed and ready for work.

Somebody needs a diaper change!

Baking:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Put a cast iron dutch oven or an oven safe casserole dish with a cover in the oven to heat.

You need to have the lid!

Preheat the cookware for a full 30 minutes.

Be careful at this point because the cookware is very hot!.

Hoo is taking his nap now so the time is perfect for me!

Carefully pour the dough into the ungreased pot or casserole dish. and replace cover.

Cook dough for 30 minute.

Remove lid after the 30 minutes and continue baking for 15-20 minutes until the top is

nicely brown.

The bread will fall right out of the pot.

It has a great rustic look and an amazing texture and crust!

Yum.

Enjoy WP kids out there!

This is gmom, Hoo and Cujo coming to you from a rainy cold day in B’more!

Be safe out there!

View from our back door

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25 Things You Didn’t Want To Know About Me.

1. I am still shocked when I see my mother in the bathroom mirror every morning.

2. I’m scary when I am mad.

3. I’m a Republican.

4. I always vote for Ralph Nadar.

5. I have no important possessions.

6. I have a gut understanding that everything is temporary.

7. I can’t remember my password for Facebook and can’t be bothered to retrieve it.

8. I’m not sure but I think Canada is just an extension of America.

9. I have a fear of crowds.

10. I teach.

11. I prepared for the ’72 Olympics in gymnastics.

12. I choked in the preliminary qualifying rounds for the ’72 Olympic team in gymnastics.

13. I love Eminem’s music.

14. I love the movie ‘Hair’ and watch it 2-3 times a year.

15. I know the score to “Rocky Horror Picture Show” by heart.

16. My dog Cujo has a twitter page.

17. I think the only thing dumber then Facebook is twitter.

18. I hate talking on the phone but I am okay with texting.

19. I razz telemarketers with, “You want to speak to the Lady of the house, (then call my dog loudly enough for them to hear,”Here Lady, here Lady.) Then pant into the phone.

20. I believe that if God can’t get my attention with a feather He will throw a brick at my head.

21. Television is my Valium.

22. I hate to travel.

23. I am an insomniac. You can call me day or night and I’ll be up, but I won’t answer.
Meet me in the backyard at 2 a.m.

24. Writing to me is like vomiting the trap grease out of my body. I feel better.

25. I collect great lines from classic films.

And with that I say, “Have fun storming the castle!”

There,.. I feel better…

I think.

Your turn.

World’s Best Chicken and Dumplings

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I have made chicken with dumplings for years.

This particular version comes from the Food Network and is outstanding.

It’s a great Fall/Winter dish, real comfort food perfect for a weekend afternoon.

Ingredients

Roasted Chicken:
1 (3-pound) whole chicken

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 ounces unsalted butter, softened

1 lemon, halved and juiced; halves reserved

1/4-cup fresh chopped herbs, such as thyme, parsley and rosemary

1 onion, halved

4 garlic cloves, smashed

Fresh whole herbs, such as rosemary, thyme and parsley sprigs

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Remove the neck and giblets from the cavity of the chicken and discard. Rinse the chicken under cold water, inside and out. Pat dry thoroughly with paper towels. Season the body and cavity of the chicken generously with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, mash together the butter, lemon juice, and chopped herbs. Rub the herbed butter all over the chicken, as well as under the skin. Put the lemon halves, onion, garlic, and whole herbs inside the chicken cavity, for added flavor. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine. Place the chicken, breast side up, in a roasting pan fitted with a rack. Roast for 1 hour until the meat is no longer pink. When cool enough to handle, shred the meat, discarding the skin and set aside. Reserve the bones for chicken stock.

Chicken Stock:
2 tablespoons olive oil

2 carrots, cut in large chunks

2 celery stalks, cut in large chunks

1 onion, halved

1 garlic bulb, halved

Reserved chicken bones

2 quarts cold water

4 sprigs fresh parsley

4 sprigs fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

To prepare the stock, coat a large stockpot with olive oil and place over medium heat. Add the vegetables and saute for 3 minutes. Add the reserved chicken bones, water, and herbs; simmer for 1 hour. Strain the stock to remove the solids and set aside.

Dumplings:
2 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

3/4 to 1 cup buttermilk

To prepare the dumplings:

sift dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs and milk together; pour the liquid in the dry ingredients and gently fold. Mix just until the dough comes together, the batter should be thick and cake-like.

Supreme Sauce:
2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon oil

1/4 cup flour

1/2 cup diced carrot

1/2 cup diced celery

3 cloves garlic, minced

6 cups chicken stock

Freshly ground black pepper, for garnish

Chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

To prepare Supreme Sauce: In a Dutch oven, melt butter and heat oil over medium heat. Add carrot, celery, garlic. Saute until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour to make a roux. Continue to stir and cook for 2 minutes to coat the flour and remove the starchy taste. Slowly pour in the chicken stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition.

Let sauce simmer until it is thick.

Fold the reserved shredded chicken into the sauce and bring up to a simmer. Using 2 spoons, carefully drop heaping tablespoonfuls of the dumpling batter into the hot mixture. The dumplings should cover the top of the sauce, but should not be touching or crowded. Let the dumplings poach for 10 to 15 minutes until they are firm and puffy. Season with freshly cracked black pepper and garnish with chopped parsley before serving.

That’s all there is to it!

If this seems like too much work you can cut the labor down by buying a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken from the supermarket as well as premade chicken stock.

The dumplings are awesome. If you are feeling industrious chop 1/4 cup of fresh dill and add that to the dumpling mix.

Have a great weekend WP friends.

This is gmom, Hoo and Cujo,

Peace out.

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